HSBC Leak Exposes Shady Clinton Associates

Just a couple of ordinary Americans, trying to get by. (AP)

A massive leak of documents from HSBC’s Swiss banking arm has revealed an array of sketchy dealings with wealthy individuals, including dictators and arms traffickers, through which the bank helped unsavory characters dodge taxes and avoid government scrutiny.

Among the unsavory characters exposed in the leak are a number of prominent donors to the Clinton Foundation. For example, the leaked documents detailed a five million Swiss franc cash transaction to British business mogul Richard Caring:

HSBC staff explained handing Caring the huge sum of cash by quoting a statement by him that he planned to deposit the cash with another Swiss bank, and did not want either bank to be aware of the other. They wrote: "RC goes to great lengths to maintain discretion." …

The files show Caring, a major donor to British politics, transferring $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit set up by the former U.S. President Bill Clinton with the stated mission to "strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence."

The donation to the Clinton Foundation was requested in December 2005. The previous month, Caring funded a champagne and caviar extravaganza at Catherine the Great’s Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia, flying in 450 guests to be entertained by Sir Elton John and Tina Turner and addressed by Bill Clinton. The event raised more than £11 million for a children’s charity.

Also making an appearance in the HSBC documents is Canadian mining mogul Frank Guistra, whose name was listed on an account holding more than $10 million in 2006-07.

The New York Times shed light on Guistra’s association with the Clintons in a 2008 report detailing a trip Guistra took with former President Bill Clinton to Kazakhstan in 2005. The pair shared a banquet dinner with Kazakhstan’s president/dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose abysmal human rights record has been criticized by Hillary Clinton, among others. Days later, Guistra’s mining company won lucrative contracts to participate in three state-owned uranium projects. Then:

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

Both parties deny that any sort of quid pro quo took place.

The Clintons have acquired an impressive portfolio of dubious associates over the years, including billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who frequently hosted Bill Clinton on his private jet, the "Lolita Express."